Evidence is mounting that encouraging your child's involvement in music is good for his or her development. Research indicates that music training helps make children better at language, math, and science. And as any parent will tell you, children are naturally musical. They create sounds out of found objects (e.g. pots and pans), sing themselves to sleep, start dancing when the radio plays, and learn their alphabet through song.
It's not so much exposure to music that influences development, but formal music training. In the US, it's fairly common for children to have some sort of formal music training in the public school setting. However, prior to age six, options are a little more limited. Children as young as 3 or 4 can start taking music lessons, generally on piano or violin. Plus there are a host of mommy-and-me and early childhood music education classes, such as Kindermusik, Music Together, and Musikgarten.
But there are also ways you can encourage musical engagement as a parent, caregiver, or professional. It's the home and daily life environment that provides the most nurture and support for the developing child.
With this in mind, here are 43 easy ways to get your young kid exposed to and involved in music. This is not an inclusive list and it even includes some of the ideas mentioned above. But as you'll see, engaging your child with music can be as easy as allowing them be the musical beings they naturally are.
Follow me on Twitter @KimberlySMoore for daily updates on the latest research and articles related to music, music therapy, and music and the brain. I invite you also to check out my website, www.MusicTherapyMaven.com, for additional information, resources, and strategies.
Don't know where to start? These resources and links might help.
Information: National Association for Music Education